Northern Ireland: Murder of Lyra Mckee

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:55 pm on 23rd April 2019.

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Photo of Paul Sweeney Paul Sweeney Shadow Minister (Scotland) 6:55 pm, 23rd April 2019

Lyra McKee was a child of the Good Friday agreement, and grew up in the hope that we could leave behind the idea of sectarianism and the division it caused. I was particularly moved by her comments in 2014, when she wrote:

The Good Friday Agreement has created a new generation of young people, freed from the cultural constraints and prejudices of the one before. It used to be that being a Unionist or Nationalist was an accident of birth. You didn’t decide whether you were for the Union or not;
the decision was made for you. Your friends were drawn from your own kind.”

Lyra represented a future where the only barriers to friendship were of bigotry and badness; and she represented a future of hope beyond that. I cannot help but feel a sense of loss for what Lyra represents—the embodiment of hope for Northern Ireland.

I am particularly concerned that organisations such as Saoradh seed that sense of division and hatred. Indeed, they plan to take part in events in Glasgow this coming weekend. Will the Secretary of State liaise with her colleague in the Home Office to ensure that we do whatever we can to prevent that horrible, toxic organisation from showing its face on the streets of Glasgow this weekend?